Career Development : Calendar

Pitching your best stories during the pandemic




Friday, Oct. 2 at noon EST

The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled a constant news cycle stories covering health and science, and provided many opportunities for freelancers – if you know how to find and take advantage of them. Editors are busier than ever and pitches now need to be shorter, and, at some outlets, the bar is higher. This panel of top writers and editors will help you craft pitches for coronavirus and non-coronavirus stories. Panelists will also help you prepare for the virtual PitchFest by providing tips to hone your one-on-one pitching skills.

  • Roxanne Khamsi, independent journalist

  • Cori Vanchieri, features editor, Science News

  • Pamela Weintraub, psychology and health editor, AEON PSYCHE

  • Moderator: Maryn McKenna, independent journalist

Roxanne Khamsi is a writer and editor in Montreal. Her articles have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, The Economist, Popular Science, Scientific American, Slate, Nature, New York magazine, Wired magazine and the MIT Technology Review. For more than a decade, Khamsi served as chief news editor at Nature Medicine, a monthly biomedical journal published by Nature Publishing Group. She has received many rewards for her work, including a first-place award from AHCJ in the trade publication category for her story about insurance issues plaguing medical foods.

Pamela Weintraub is an investigative journalist, award-winning author, and narrative storyteller covering science, medicine, and psychology at the crossroads of culture. She is a a longtime executive-level editor known for intensive writer and story development. Winner of the American Medical Writers Association book award for "Cure Unknown."

Cori Vanchieri joined Science News in August 2014 as features editor. She has more than 25 years of experience as a writer, editor and project manager within the health and science field. She helped launch news sections at Annals of Internal Medicine and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, where she covered European cancer research from Milan, Italy, and was senior medical editor at Cleveland Clinic Magazine. Before joining Science News, Vanchieri was the story editor at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s magazine, the HHMI Bulletin. She earned degrees from Cornell University and Stanford University.

Maryn McKenna is an independent journalist who specializes in public health, global health and food policy. She has been published in Wired, Scientific American, Self, the Atlantic, the Guardian, Nature and other publications in the United States, Europe and Asia. She is the author of the 2017 bestseller, “Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats” (National Geographic 2017); "Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA" (Free Press/S&S 2010) and "Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service" (FP/S&S 2004). A senior fellow of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, she was a reporter at several newspapers. She has held fellowships with the Dart Center on Journalism and Trauma, the East-West Center, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Knight-Wallace Fellows of University of Michigan. She serves on AHCJ's Freelance Committee.

Roxanne Khamsi

Cori Vanchieri

Pamela Weintraub

Maryn McKenna